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Amazon Matches iTunes Match With New 'Audio Upgrade' Feature

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the lifetime-supply-of-bitrates dept.

Cloud 157

New submitter bostonidealist writes "Just after the July 6th 1-year anniversary of its unlimited music storage promotion (and presumably after early subscribers have all renewed their annual subscriptions), Amazon.com has changed the way its Cloud Player and Cloud Drive services work. Starting today, music uploaded to a Cloud Drive will count against its owner's Cloud Drive quota and will not be accessible through Cloud Player. Further, music files previously uploaded to Cloud Player or Cloud Drive are being automatically converted to 256 Kbps audio whenever Amazon 'has the rights to do so' and new audio files uploaded to Cloud Player will automatically be checked against Amazon's music database in iTunes Match-like fashion. One of the appeals of Amazon's Cloud Player service up to this point has been that users could pay a flat fee and store an unlimited number of their own music files (with their own tags, artwork, and audio data intact). Now, Amazon is automatically replacing users' previously uploaded data with its own, without allowing users to opt in/out."

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157 comments

iTunes (-1, Troll)

SmilingGuy (2698225) | about a year and a half ago | (#40839909)

I have recently started using Mac computers and I have to say I am in love. iTunes is absolutely fantastic music player too, and store for that matter. It's hard to match the catalog iTunes has - it has even the less known kpop artists I love to listen.

That being said, I have some music files in my library that no longer exist. When I try to play them, iTunes complaints about missing files. I wonder, how do I remove these entries from my library without going through it one by one? Thanks for the answers.

All this shows that Apple just knows what they're doing. Their software and hardware is amazing. Can you believe that when I tried to break my Macbook Air, it just didn't! Apple and Microsoft sure know what they're doing and Linux is far behind in usefulness and features. I love Apple.

Re:iTunes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40839943)

You sir are a homo.

Re:iTunes (0, Flamebait)

bjwest (14070) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840037)

As are you, me, and every other human walking on or orbiting above this planet. You, however, have a "Dumb-Ass" prefix.

Re:iTunes (1)

Megane (129182) | about a year and a half ago | (#40839975)

When I try to play them, iTunes complaints about missing files. I wonder, how do I remove these entries from my library without going through it one by one?

I don't know if there's a better way than this, but do command-I to bring up the info screen, then keep spamming the next button. I don't recall if each missing file brings up the delete dialog, or if it just marks them in the window with an "info" icon that you can delete later. This doesn't happen often, so I don't get much chance to learn the "right" way to fix it.

Re:iTunes (0)

SmilingGuy (2698225) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840135)

Thanks, that got it fixed easily!

And I also must note that the "complete my album" feature in iTunes is really nice addition by Apple (you get album cheaper if you already have some tracks from it). Forgot it from my last post, who someone has modded as -1 troll for some reason.

Re:iTunes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40840259)

Thanks, that got it fixed easily!

And I also must note that the "complete my album" feature in iTunes is really nice addition by Apple (you get album cheaper if you already have some tracks from it). Forgot it from my last post, who someone has modded as -1 troll for some reason.

For some reason? You wrote the words "I love Apple", that's why you got the Troll tag!

Also, WTF does Apple have to do with it? We're talking about Amazon's Bait and Switch Service... not iTones!

To anyone burned by this, let me just go get my box of CD's that Amazon.com can never take away from me, (a few actually bought from Amazon) and fondle them quietly... smiling to myself that my music is just that, MINE. Wanna know how much data I store on Amazon's cloud? NONE. ZERO, ZILCH, NADA.

Those of you who've trusted your collection to the capricious nature of someone else' storage facility, I have two words for you... HA HA!

Suckers. Next time, insist on the DISC!!! Compact disc! There's a reason they became the champions of recorded music. Try to build your house on the cloud, and it will fall because the cloud is insubstantial, and only a moron would think that's a good place for safe, long term data storage.

The cloud... feh! With a capital FEH!

Re:iTunes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40840045)

I have recently started using Mac computers and I have to say I am in love. iTunes is absolutely fantastic music player too, and store for that matter. It's hard to match the catalog iTunes has - it has even the less known kpop artists I love to listen.
That being said, I have some music files in my library that no longer exist. When I try to play them, iTunes complaints about missing files. I wonder, how do I remove these entries from my library without going through it one by one? Thanks for the answers.
I love Apple.

Due to your love of Apple, all of your iTunes issues can be easily resolved. Just spend your usual hour on the tower of power followed by a golden shower, and the answer [lyricsfreak.com] will be revealed...

Re:iTunes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40841411)

Just spend your usual hour on the tower of power followed by a golden shower, and the answer [lyricsfreak.com] will be revealed...

Don't you DARE use the late, great FZ to spread your ignorant Apple-Hate.

I hope you get festering sores.

Re:iTunes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40840401)

Um, are you not aware that Itunes software is available for Windows, too. Now, I'm not a Windows fan. I'm just pointing out that Itunes software is now exclusively for Mac computers. This is your only point in your argument?...And yet, you conclude Apple is amazing? Your post must be joke.

Re:iTunes = Moron (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40840473)

"I have recently started using Mac computers and I have to say I am in love. iTunes is absolutely fantastic music player too, and store for that matter."

LOL.

What sort of idiot LIKES iTunes? The sort of idiot who buys a Mac, and an iPod. You idiot.

I have an Archos Gmini XS202 MP3 player, I just drag and drop my MP3 folders onto it, and it works. No need for stupid 'iTunes' bloatware on my PC. No stupid iPod re'organising' everything into 'genre', 'artist' etc. categories. What sort of moron can't create folders on their own computer to store their music where they want it? An iPod user, that's what sort!

Most people can't even HEAR music properly, they just hear random notes and PRETEND to 'like' it - which explains boy bands, etc.etc. Most people can't write songs, and if you can't write songs, it's highly unlikely that you can actually HEAR music properly.

Cloud services are for idiots. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40839929)

> Now, Amazon is automatically replacing users' previously uploaded data with its own, without allowing users to opt in/out

*Exactly* why cloud services are for retards only. You would have to be a complete moron to trust a third party with your personal data. A complete and utter moron.

Re:Cloud services are NOT for idiots. (5, Interesting)

justforgetme (1814588) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840015)

See what I did to the titel there? Yep, I added a "NOT" negating it.

Amazon being unfair does not mean that cloud technology is unfair just that there is no "unlimited storage for free" solution.
Every service you obtain from someone comes with it's cost. My personal opinion is that - given you are capable of handling
the complexity - you just do it yourself and incur the, usually decent pricetag in favor of privacy/certainty.
Using a cloud infrastructure provider (like aws) you can cloudify all your assets without a problem. Of course certainty (and
often paranoia) dictates that you at least manage to have secured backups of your static data, like, images, video, music and
db dumps on the ground.

Of course all the above takes for granted that you are not an idiot and actually can live with your own custom cloud.

Re:Cloud services are NOT for idiots. (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840283)

Amazon being unfair does not mean that cloud technology is unfair just that there is no "unlimited storage for free" solution.

What about Amazon altering your music files without your permission?

Re:Cloud services are NOT for idiots. (5, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840527)

While a cloud service provider isn't necessarily like Amazon, this is a prime example of why the cloud can't be trusted: you are at the mercy of the service provider, and if they alter the deal you can only pray they don't alter it further.

Re:Cloud services are NOT for idiots. (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840757)

You are at the mercy of who you choose for the service provider. Which, as justforgetme pointed out, can be yourself. So no, this isn't a "cloud issue" as much as this is an "amazon issue" as everyone has stated. What's to stop people from hosting things themselves? Nothing.

Re:Cloud services are NOT for idiots. (2)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year and a half ago | (#40841259)

In common usage, the term "cloud" refers to an alternative to setting up servers yourself, in which somebody else maintains all the infrastructure for you so that you don't have to. In principle, you could become a cloud provider, but then other people would presumably be at your mercy. Either way, a private server with a single user is not generally considered to be a cloud. It is just a private server.

Re:Cloud services are NOT for idiots. (2)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year and a half ago | (#40841833)

Which is exactly correct.

The difference between private server and 3rd party hosted private server is nothing. Cloud is just a marketing phrase and still doesn't reflect anything that hasn't already existed for 5-10 years minimum.

Re:Cloud services are NOT for idiots. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40841061)

I uploaded half of my music collection to Google Play's Music service, merely so I can stream music to me away from home on other peoples networks. I still have all my music on my RAID 5 NAS. I stream from Google so my home's Comcast network caps avoid hitting the limit, because I stream a lot of video from Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video ($39.5 a year if you share your Prime account with a family member).

Re:Cloud services are for idiots. (4, Interesting)

bjwest (14070) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840099)

Actually, I think music one of the few good uses for this so called cloud thing. One easy to connect to location for my desktop, laptop, tablet, cell and automobile to connect to my music library is a good thing. No need to worry about keeping things in sync or forgetting to transfer that new song you like over to the device you have on hand at the moment. But like anything, if you keep your one and only copy in there, you get what you deserve.

Re:Cloud services are for idiots. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40840251)

No need to worry about keeping things in sync or forgetting to transfer that new song you like over to the device you have on hand at the moment.

Yes, now with the cloud, you can instead worry about if your device on hand at the moment can get cell reception in your office deep in the bowels of your work building, or perhaps worry that everything you dare stream over your employer's wifi (assuming it's open to you at all) is being tracked and will be brought up during your next review.

Maybe it's just me, but I'll stick with syncing, thanks.

Re:Cloud services are for idiots. (2)

MistrBlank (1183469) | about a year and a half ago | (#40841559)

This, THIS! I 100% agree with this, which is the one thing I absolutely hate about iTunes match. I love my iPhone, I love that I carry music, video, a camera, phone, my calendar, email and more in one device. I love that they finally got wireless syncing done RIGHT on my device so that podcasts, smart playlists and autogenerated genius lists are automatically updated. As soon as I turn on iTunes match though, the phone forgets how to sync, instead replaced with a system that can download/psuedo stream all of my music. I can no longer push "play all" because it tries to play music that may not be on the device, if I'm on a wifi is just starts playing music that I might not want on my device at all or worse, burn up cell data with a switch buried far into the settings menu that makes it a pain to enable and disable freely. Then my device slow sucks up more and more space and there's no clean way to remove music aside from deleting each song you don't want. I've disabled Match and then tried syncing only to find it doesn't remove the downloaded music that I had on the device while synced.

That said, I love what Match has done for my appletv experience as well as my iPad where I don't normally store music, but having access to all of it anywhere I'm on wifi (and not at work) is awesome.

Re:Cloud services are for idiots. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40840387)

No need to worry about keeping things in sync

Have we really fallen so far as a computer-using species that copying files is now "just too hard"?

Well, I guess people designing modern computing devices seem to be MAKING it hard, on purpose, by removing file explorer interfaces and hiding or obscuring any user access to the filesystems of devices. So maybe it's hard just because, for some bewildering reason, it's designed to be hard. But otherwise, holy shit... copying a file is just not rocket science. I have to believe that 99% of the non-technical public is quite capable of doing so. It's a basic computer skill akin to "using the steering wheel" when driving a car.

It honestly never even occurred to me that keeping my music collection sycned between my computer, car's mp3 player, was somehow more difficult than "storing it in the cloud". It seems easier, actually.

Re:Cloud services are for idiots. (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840665)

Seriously, it's easier to copy files. I use Total Commander, the very best descendant of that most excellent DOS shell, Norton Commander. I can bang out file copies using nothing but the keyboard, and do it faster and more accurately than a mouse user.

In truth though, if you only use the file management interfaces built in to the operating systems, synching with a catalog program probably is easier, just because Windows Explorer and Macintosh's Finder file management interfaces are both abysmal. Seriously growing windows all over hell when you move into folders on Mac? As the default behavior? Who the hell thought that was a good idea? And Explorer, which encourages you to try to do everything in one window, then makes that really hard? It's no wonder that iTunes and synching to an internet server (wtf did we need a market term to describe FTP? "Cloud" my tired arse...) has grown in popularity.

Re:Cloud services are for idiots. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840711)

Because lately, despite the rock-bottom prices for magnetic and flash media, a lot of devices have a pathetic amount of storage space, but do have wi-fi. Gone are the days of getting 80GB+ of storage space in a device. Look at the Nexus 7, the base price only gets you 8GB of storage space (and no MicroSD card slot), I don't have the largest music library out there, but mine roughly is about 10 GB in size, let alone with video. So if I want to listen to my music on my tablet, I either have to be very selective or stream it. The highest end one is 16 GB and still will barely hold my music selection while having enough space for applications and other data.

Unless your device is lucky enough to have a MicroSD card where you can slap in a 32 GB one for $10-20, chances are you are going to have to stream, unless this device in question has a magnetic HDD.

Re:Cloud services are for idiots. (5, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840297)

You would have to be a complete moron to trust a third party with your personal data. A complete and utter moron

Amazon's cloud service stores, for free, about 5Gb of your music. The intention of cloud music services like Amazon's (and Google's, and Apple's, and Ubuntu's...) is to provide a convenient way to access your music from anywhere at any time. Your purchases from the named service get added automatically, you're encouraged to download them too, and you run a program that syncs your main music repository, which you typically continue to use, with the cloud service so everything you add to that gets added to the service. Then, when you want to access a track, playlist, or whatever, you can do so whether you're at home, at work, or in the middle of nowhere with your smartphone.

I'm not entirely sure how that's "personal", and I'm not sure how you're defining "trust", but it's hard to see how anyone would be a moron for merely using the system. If, tomorrow, the cloud services drop off the face of the planet, you still have your music, and you can continue to use that music just as you did before the cloud service existed.

The summary seems to invent a person who'd be personally affected by the fact that meta-data and custom encodings (maybe? Not mentioned but I'm trying to give it the benefit of the doubt) might change once music is uploaded, now, as a result of this policy change, but short of someone idiot enough to delete their music from their PC in the expectation that Amazon will store it for them - and who does that? - I can't see anyone actually being seriously affected by this move.

Do I use them myself for anything other than music I've bought from them? No, largely because I'm too much of a cheapskate and 5Gb isn't enough to store my music collection. Actually, it probably is if I rescanned everything as HE-AAC, but that's a lot of work, I can't be bothered, and it sounds like Amazon, at least, would no longer make that useful. But at the same time, I just can't see how I'd be more than slightly inconvienenced by this move if I was a big Amazon MP3 user. And I certainly wouldn't describe someone who uses it as a moron.

Re:Cloud services are for idiots. (4, Interesting)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840715)

I'm not entirely sure how that's "personal", and I'm not sure how you're defining "trust", but it's hard to see how anyone would be a moron for merely using the system... I can't see anyone actually being seriously affected by this move.

It's very much personal. If I've stored files at 320K, then the conversion to 256K represents a loss of quality. If I'm content with 128K and Amazon converts to 256K, then they're effectively halving the number of songs per dollar that I can store. And if they also mess with my custom tags, the files are less useful to me, and it will cost me some work to restore them on Amazon's service. So basically, if someone dicks with my data without my consent, then it's personal, regardless of the extent or nature of the dicking.

I don't use cloud services - hell, I don't even use players that 'organize' my music for me. But I can see how people will be pissed off at this latest move by Amazon. It's yet another example of the high-handed 'all of your everything are belong to us' attitude that corporations are ramming down our throats.

Re:Cloud services are for idiots. (4, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840975)

It's very much personal. If I've stored files at 320K, then the conversion to 256K represents a loss of quality. If I'm content with 128K and Amazon converts to 256K, then they're effectively halving the number of songs per dollar that I can store. And if they also mess with my custom tags, the files are less useful to me, and it will cost me some work to restore them on Amazon's service. So basically, if someone dicks with my data without my consent, then it's personal, regardless of the extent or nature of the dicking.

Honestly, I think you're using a different definition of the word "personal" to everyone else. It doesn't normally mean "technical attributes of files stored on a PC not being propagated across a buffered network".

It's yet another example of the high-handed 'all of your everything are belong to us' attitude that corporations are ramming down our throats.

Not really. It's Amazon making technical choices about a service they run. They're not even particularly radical, all things considered. In fact, I'd argue they're necessary to deliver the service as expected.

Amazon MP3 is not a file mirroring system, it's not a remote drive. It's a way to play and sync music "from anywhere". I'd expect, given it's not a file mirroring system, them to make technical choices like this. In fact, if Amazon wants it to be more useful, I'd expect them to actually go beyond what they're doing. 256kbps is a horrible rate to standardize on if you're expecting people to stream from the service at work, or download music over 3G (or worse, EDGE) against some data quota. If Amazon makes the decision - and they should - to deliver the music, rather than the raw source files, then this is something they can fix.

The more I think about it, the more I'd say Amazon is making the right decision here. Who's negatively affected by it? No-one. No-one is using Amazon to "store" their pristine original MP3s. So nobody is losing anything as a result of this change. Insofar as it's a problem, it's that it reduces flexibility to add more music by encoding at a lower bitrate. That's it. Metadata? You still have it. It's still stored in the originals. You can still copy those originals over to your MP3 player, just as you always have. And if you really need to transfer the originals using "the cloud", there are plenty of cloud services that are actually designed to do that. I believe Amazon even runs one...

Re:Cloud services are for idiots. (2)

reub2000 (705806) | about a year and a half ago | (#40841027)

If I'm content with 128K and Amazon converts to 256K, then they're effectively halving the number of songs per dollar that I can store.

Except they're charging per song, not mb.

Re:Cloud services are for idiots. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40841607)

If I'm content with 128K and Amazon converts to 256K, then they're effectively halving the number of songs per dollar that I can store. And if they also mess with my custom tags, the files are less useful to me, and it will cost me some work to restore them on Amazon's service. So basically, if someone dicks with my data without my consent, then it's personal, regardless of the extent or nature of the dicking.

And a third option: False positives.

Uploaded: Fancy Hipster Music - Obscure Track (12" Remix From Some Version Pressed Only in Japan With A Sample Not Licensed In America) - 3:49
Replaced With: Fancy Hipster Music - Obscure Track (12" Remix) - 3:48

Because hey, the music-matching algorithm said they were the same track. And to within the algorithm's detection limit, they were.

This isn't an entirely theoretical problem; there are at least a dozen remixes of popular tracks (Depeche Mode's Personal Jesus comes to mind), and while many are distinguishable from the original, they're not all immediately distinguishable from each other.

Re:Cloud services are for idiots. (4, Insightful)

reub2000 (705806) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840969)

The intention of cloud music services like Amazon's (and Google's, and Apple's, and Ubuntu's...) is to provide a convenient way to access your music from anywhere at any time.

No the purpose of cloud players is to keep track of what users listen to.

Re:Cloud services are for idiots. (2)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840555)

It isn't your data. You don't own your brain, you merely license it from the copyright policy. Have a nice day citizen.

Re:Cloud services are for idiots. (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840763)

I put a 32GB SD card into my cell phone. I put headphones into my cell phone. I paid AOL $5 and got the full pro version of WinAmp with graphic equalizers and all. I can listen to my music without a working 3G signal, and I pay $10/mo for a 2GB 3G capped connection that overflows into EDGE with no additional fee (the $5/mo 500MB one stays 3G and charges you $10/GB over 500MB). I'm not transferring the same music over and over since I listen to the same song 50 times in a month.

Re:Cloud services are for idiots. (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840779)

A more pertinent reason not to use them is Amazon know which music you own and a pretty good idea of what music you *don't* own just by its similarity to other instances of the same file residing on their server. Same for books, movies etc.

Re:Cloud services are for idiots. (2)

SDrag0n (532175) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840795)

Actually, when I logged on last night, I had a checkbox to have my uploaded files modified or not.... Granted it was all or none but still, an option is an option.

Re:Cloud services are for idiots. (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year and a half ago | (#40841547)

Is music your "personal data"?

Seriously, I think this is the difference between some people feeling they "own" music vs other people feeling they "use" music.

I use music. If I paid for it and have access to it, in whatever form, then I am happy, period. Doesn't make me an idiot, just makes me a user of content.

I don't personally feel that the music files themselves matter. If a company wants to "upgrade" my music for me, free of charge, then by all means, please do so. I would rather this then being forced to I have to pay to upgrade my music to every format or quality level that can exist. iTunes recently upgraded all my movie/TV content to 1080p, I was worried I would have to pay extra for a better quality format (like buying Blu-ray vs DVD), but I didn't. I bought the rights to USE this content and Apple makes the content better.

So, you can be one of those types that feels the need to horde all content because of some retarded sense of ownership, or you can embrace a new era of buying access to content that will periodically "improve" over time to maximize your enjoyment of it.

The bottom line is that some people feel they are at the mercy of corporations, that buying into "the cloud" reduces their personal rights. But if people woke up and realized that corporations are not ALL POWERFUL, that the consumer is still KING, then we wouldn't have tiresome debates such as this. If a corporation truly "fucks" their consumers then consumers will abandon the corporation, meaning the corporation will lose money and go bankrupt. While there may be a cost for the consumer to abandon a platform, ultimately I still have choice when it comes to cloud services (thanks to Amazon and Google), and so if I feel truly that my rights have been violated then I will take actions that will ultimately hurt the offending corporation's bottom line.

If you want to horde content, go ahead, you still have that option, but don't call out people for embracing new technology platforms because of your own idiotic conspiracy theories and biases.

Re:Cloud services are for idiots. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40841865)

*Exactly* why cloud services are for retards only. You would have to be a complete moron to trust a third party with your personal data. A complete and utter moron.

How is a song you did not create your "personal" data in any way?

If it IS music you created, Amazon will not have a master copy to replace anything with.
You can rest assured if you signed away the rights to your music to a label, it is no longer your music, and thus again is not your personal data.

Store this! (5, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#40839963)

The point of forcibly replacing your music with a good-quality one is so they can massively reduce storage. Now they just need one copy of each song.

Which makes it doubly bizarre they're now counting it against your cloud storage -- it's not even stored in your "piece" -- all that's stored are a few bytes of an ID pointing into their song database.

Profit! (4, Funny)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840061)

The point of forcibly replacing your music with a good-quality one is so they can massively reduce storage. Now they just need one copy of each song.

Which makes it doubly bizarre they're now counting it against your cloud storage -- it's not even stored in your "piece" -- all that's stored are a few bytes of an ID pointing into their song database.

This is the cloud equivalent of the "?????" step between the "Charge money for storage space" step and the "Profit" step.

Re:Store this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40840427)

It had better be more than "a few bytes". If they replace your id3 metadata with their own, the service is completely worthless.

Re:Store this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40840569)

I'm sure some other company tried to do this a few years ago by letting you upload your own ripped CDs then de-duping the storage.

They were sued out of existence by Big Media...
   

music laundry (5, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | about a year and a half ago | (#40839987)

upload pirated music get clean copies .. ;D

Re:music laundry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40840765)

Yes, except the next step is to compare your uploaded track against an 'authorized' one to see if they match. If they don't, you are automatically assumed to be pirating music, and letters to that effect will be forwarded, with your personal information, to the RIAA for prosecution.

Re:music laundry (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about a year and a half ago | (#40841355)

What, you think that when I buy a CD and rip its tracks, the results are any different than when a pirate group buys a CD and rips its tracks?

Re:music laundry (2)

chrish (4714) | about a year and a half ago | (#40841649)

Except, of course, that pirated music comes in lossless formats or at least in higher bitrates than what Amazon is giving you here.

Uh, not that I'd know. A friend told me.

upload, upgrade, download? (4, Interesting)

kenorland (2691677) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840001)

So, can I upload my music, have it upgraded and tagged by Amazon, then download the improved MP3s and quit the service?

Re:upload, upgrade, download? (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840339)

So, can I upload my music, have it upgraded and tagged by Amazon, then download the improved MP3s and quit the service?

Yes, you can do that if you want, but since they make you prepay for the entire year -- the joke will be on you if you quit their service after just 24 hours.

Re:upload, upgrade, download? (2)

jamesh (87723) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840519)

So, can I upload my music, have it upgraded and tagged by Amazon, then download the improved MP3s and quit the service?

Yes, you can do that if you want, but since they make you prepay for the entire year -- the joke will be on you if you quit their service after just 24 hours.

I'm not sure what laws Amazon operate under, but a contract that says "and after you sign up we can vary the contract however we want and you will like it" is probably not enforceable, so if you already had an account you should be able to do this then get a refund.

Re:upload, upgrade, download? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40841037)

AFAIK at least in Germany, you only have a right to stop your contract when they actually do change the terms and conditions. So unless they change their terms and conditions 24 hours after you've subscribed, your strategy won't work here. I guess it's the same in other countries. However IANAL, and this definitely isn't legal advice.

What happens if it's already higher than 256? (1)

Aereus (1042228) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840017)

Can you upload higher bitrates already? I would be pissed at them converting my audio if I had taken the time to upload FLAC copies, for example. Or even 320kbit MP3 that one usually does if they are ripping CDs.

Re:What happens if it's already higher than 256? (5, Insightful)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840139)

The summary seemed quite clear to me, all music is being converted to 256kbps. It didn't say 'upgraded to', though I suspect Amazon may try to spin it like that.

What is likely happening here is that Amazon has a file of "Stairway to Heaven" in 256kbps on their server, and in order to save space everybody who uploads their own personal copy of "Stairway to Heaven" has it substituted with Amazon's version, so instead of 100 copies of various version of the song on their server, you just have 100 people accessing the same file, and guess what! Yes, that file you share with 99 other people, it counts towards your quota.

It's brilliant, they sell the same piece of hard drive space 100's and 100's of times over.

Re:What happens if it's already higher than 256? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40840257)

and fast upload too, bet they just chksum the local file and give you a credit for the file on the server immediately.

Re:What happens if it's already higher than 256? (1)

Tapewolf (1639955) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840289)

I wonder how fuzzy the matching is? Will you suddenly end up with a different mix or remastered version of the song because it assumed they were the same?

UPload shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40840437)

I wonder how fuzzy the matching is? Will you suddenly end up with a different mix or remastered version of the song because it assumed they were the same?

I'm wondering if I could upload a shitty copy or even a a file of static with a title of the song I want, Amazon converts for me, and voila! I have a better or free copy of the song!

For example, create a file that's 3:14 seconds or whatever the song I want is, name the file "I was born this way", and my file of shit turns into a the song - courtesy of Amazon's service.

This could be an awesome bootleg service!

And also entertaining! Just wait until the RIAA gets wind and we'll have the entertainment of legal action between very lawyered up corporations!

Woo Hoo! Win for everybody!

Re:UPload shit (2)

jamesh (87723) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840543)

For example, create a file that's 3:14 seconds or whatever the song I want is, name the file "I was born this way", and my file of shit turns into a the song - courtesy of Amazon's service.

You just just upload a tiny file with the right tags and marked as '1bps' and see what happens :)

Another experiment would be to record yourself singing a song and see what Amazon replaces it with.

Re:UPload shit (4, Funny)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840781)

Another experiment would be to record yourself singing a song and see what Amazon replaces it with.

I tried that, but all it came up with was "The Very Best of Assorted Cat Mating Calls"

Re:What happens if it's already higher than 256? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40840399)

Would be interesting to see if and how they'll do it for pictures. Just imagine your family album getting linked to some hardcore pr0n instead :)

Re:What happens if it's already higher than 256? (3, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840963)

What is likely happening here is that Amazon has a file of "Stairway to Heaven" in 256kbps on their server, and in order to save space everybody who uploads their own personal copy of "Stairway to Heaven" has it substituted with Amazon's version

There hae been at least 7 releases of Stairway to Heaven on CD. If I have the one from 1985, can I be assured that I won't be getting the remaster from 1994, or vice versa?

Re:What happens if it's already higher than 256? (1)

reub2000 (705806) | about a year and a half ago | (#40841013)

Considering that the cloud player does not currently recognize FLAC, I'm guessing nothing.

Bloody idiots... (4, Funny)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840019)

According to the article: "Like iTunes Match, Amazonâ(TM)s Cloud Player keeps copies of songs at 256 kilobytes per second, even if the original version was lower-fidelity."

Who would want 256 kilobyte per second, which turns a normal CD into more than a Gigabyte?

Re:Bloody idiots... (2)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840841)

How else are you going to take advantage of the fidelity of your Denon AKDL1 Dedicated Link Cable?

Re:Bloody idiots... (2)

tgd (2822) | about a year and a half ago | (#40841265)

According to the article: "Like iTunes Match, Amazonâ(TM)s Cloud Player keeps copies of songs at 256 kilobytes per second, even if the original version was lower-fidelity."

Who would want 256 kilobyte per second, which turns a normal CD into more than a Gigabyte?

Those are metric seconds.

It's still MP3, so... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40840039)

...it's like putting make-up on a pig, really. No thanks, Amazon.

Re:It's still MP3, so... (1)

JustOK (667959) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840419)

Well, they put a pretty dress on the pig too, and in the right light, well...

Paranoid slashdotters 1: rest of the world: 0 (4, Insightful)

marcello_dl (667940) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840043)

Welcome to the cloud! Where your data is our data.

As "the cloud" is getting more traction, expect worse things to happen. We are still in the acceptance phase.

Re:Paranoid slashdotters 1: rest of the world: 0 (2)

unitron (5733) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840343)

Welcome to the cloud! Where your data is our data.

As "the cloud" is getting more traction, expect worse things to happen. We are still in the acceptance phase.

Which is another way of saying they haven't discontinued the use of the anesthesia and lubricant yet.

(but eventually they will, citing the extra expense)

Below I reproduce the AC's comment I can't mod up since I'm posting in this thread, but it definitely deserves a +1, Insightful

foreign music listeners beware (Score:1)
by Anonymous Coward on Wed Aug 01, '12 06:01 AM (#40840123)

There may be all sorts of problems down the line with people who like music that isn't officially licensed in their country.
Reply to This

Re:Paranoid slashdotters 1: rest of the world: 0 (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840669)

We are still in the acceptance phase.

Speak for yourself, I'm still in complete denial. For starters, I cannot accept that clouds, the pretty, free things without a greedy or evil thought in their whole body, should lend their name to something as banal as this. That's just arrogant and silly.

Re:Paranoid slashdotters 1: rest of the world: 0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40841059)

Clouds can do very evil things. Think of lightning and the damage it does. Or think of hailstorms. Or Tornadoes.

foreign music listeners beware (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40840123)

There may be all sorts of problems down the line with people who like music that isn't officially licensed in their country.

Re:foreign music listeners beware (2)

arth1 (260657) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840347)

There may be all sorts of problems down the line with people who like music that isn't officially licensed in their country.

Also, there is a problem with copyrights and your purchase being specific to the album you purchased.
If you have bought and stored a song from Album A, that does not give you any rights to the same song from Album B. Even if both albums used the same recording as a basis. This becomes a legal problem if Album B was never legally released in your country or jurisdiction.

In addition to other implications, of course:

From your perspective, it's like if you had a signed litograph, stored it in a bank, and they decided to replace it with another one from the same series. It may look the same to the uneducated eye, but it isn't the same.

From the artist's perspective, they're being deprived of a source of income. If a customer owns the album on which a song is, that customer still must pay if he wants the single or any best of compilations he already has all the songs for.

The only ones who are good with this are the providers, and the politicians they have bought.

Re:foreign music listeners beware (2)

jamesh (87723) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840589)

From your perspective, it's like if you had a signed litograph, stored it in a bank, and they decided to replace it with another one from the same series. It may look the same to the uneducated eye, but it isn't the same.

Even worse... what if your child has the 'radio edit' of a song and Amazon swaps it for the album version with all the naughty words left in?? Won't somebody _please_ think of the children???

Very much like Amazon in everything (3, Insightful)

sander (7831) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840131)

This is very much like Amazon in everything - you have no rights, only the obligation to pay them and have them do pretty much what they want with your data. There is no effective SLA, and if you don't like what they do only recourse is trying to win over a megacorp in court.

So ... You use their crap ? Blame yourself!

Re:Very much like Amazon in everything (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40840175)

Where are my modpoints when I need them?

Re:Very much like Amazon in everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40840337)

You forgot to log in

Weird domain (3, Interesting)

rumith (983060) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840207)

Excuse me my ignorance, but why is this supposed press release hosted on corporate-ir.net (that doesn't even appear to have a root index file) instead of amazon.com? A quick google search shows that there are plenty of such press releases from lots of different companies hosted on that site; however, I am still not sure if this stuff is legitimate.

Re:Weird domain (4, Informative)

Cederic (9623) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840407)

Try going to amazon.com and clicking on the link marked "Press Releases": http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1720457&highlight= [corporate-ir.net]

Hopefully you (and the people that modded you up) are a little less ignorant now.

Re:Weird domain (1)

rumith (983060) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840493)

Already found that out; sorry that I didn't post an update. Also, that domain appears to belong to Thomson Reuters Financial [thomsonreuters.com]. My bad, I had no idea that there may be any benefit for a behemoth like Amazon to host investor relations materials on a third-party website.

Re:Weird domain (2)

arth1 (260657) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840619)

Already found that out; sorry that I didn't post an update. Also, that domain appears to belong to Thomson Reuters Financial [thomsonreuters.com]. My bad, I had no idea that there may be any benefit for a behemoth like Amazon to host investor relations materials on a third-party website.

Well, duh , they aren't insane enough to keep important information like that on the cloud! They have to use a service they can trust.

This FP foR GNAA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40840529)

example, if 7ou in eternity...Romeo

What could possibly go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40840545)

So let's say someone recorded a murder on their cell phone's voice memo recorder. You hear the murder but there's a strong song playing in the background. Amazon checks the file and replaces it with the plain-vanilla copy. Is that a felony called obstruction of justice?

Let's say someone's wife/daughter/whoever sang along with a song before she died...and let's say that recording is the widower/father's most treasured thing. Will Amazon automatically delete that file?

I had a car wreck that was recorded by my in-car camera a few years ago. The audio track was 99% the radio playing a popular song, plus a few crashes/bangs. If Amazon had replaced the audio track on that video, it would have destroyed valuable evidence that was worth thousands of dollars. (right now, as far as I can tell, Amazon is not editing videos, but is replacing sound files.)

Will this replace one-of-a-kind concert recordings with generic crap? Will there only be one copy of each of Jimi Hendrix songs?

Will this replace one-of-a-kind outtakes with mainstream garage?

I think Amzon is trying to save disk space while allowing the recording industry to edit their previous work whenever they wish. They know the downsides to this, and are both civily liable and criminally culpable for their actions.

RMS was right again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40840565)

RMS was right again.

How many man-years wasted ripping & uploading to the cloud?

Cloud computing is nothing but a scam.

Far Too Complicated... (2)

JohnnyMindcrime (2487092) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840623)

I just buy the CD, rip it myself, put the CD on a shelf as it's own backup, copy the rips onto a portable hard disk and put the hard disk in my coat pocket.

I can access my music anywhere, not just where there's an Internet connection.

RIP Opera Unite (1)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#40841119)

That's right, be old school and have a HD in your pocket which you can drop and lose all your shit (because we know you don't have backups) and lose the cost of the device itself.

A lot of people sneered at Opera Unite, calling it bloat.

To this day this derision of Unite by various people still bugs me, because under Unite, you could have an instant server on any computer that could run Unite. It was simple and drool proof. You didn't even need dyndns services. No more rolling your own with Apache or some other web sever. You could have it up and running within 3 minutes of downloading Opera. Maybe even less if you typed fast.

Rip your music from CD and file away your CD just like in your scenario, then anywhere on the Earth, you could listen to your streaming media player or access the music files directly. Unite gave you the ability to do ad-hoc file serving, www, chat, etc, through plugins and made it as easy as falling off a log. Unite involved none of this third-party cloud services bullshit. You basically created your own "cloud" with Opera Unite, and the Opera Unite servers simply pointed to your own machine(s).

Unite resurrected the two-way-street that was the Internet before the media companies turned it into a media-consumption tool.

But as of Opera 12, all this is all gone because it wasn't adopted as Opera had hoped, which is a shame, because this was a brilliant resource. I don't see any true replacements for it. Sure, I can roll my own, but it's not the same instant gratification and configuring separate services is not something I can recommend to complete newbies.

--
BMO

Re:Far Too Complicated... (1)

coofercat (719737) | about a year and a half ago | (#40841197)

Exactly, and 5GB is so incredibly cheap to buy in a USB stick or whatever, there's no need to use a cloud to store it. If they were offering 500G or some such, then maybe it would be useful. Hell, I've got 32GB in my phone, 5G just isn't worth worrying about.

Amazon Also Changes Pricing (2)

bostonidealist (2009964) | about a year and a half ago | (#40840685)

Amazon also reduced pricing for the service yesterday, which may be good for future subscribers, but is really annoying for those who already had subscriptions and just renewed for more money. Anyone who spent several weeks uploading music files one year ago likely didn't want to let their subscription lapse and have to repeat the entire process. Amazon waited a couple of weeks until everyone up for renewal was billed for a new year, then, less than a month later, they fundamentally changed the service's functionality and lowered the pricing.

I completely understand that Amazon's terms and conditions for the service give them the right to do this, and I also expect that early adopters often pay more for goods and services as prices drop. However, it's clear that Amazon was being quite coy here. They also issued an iPhone cloud player app shortly before "unlimited music" subscribers had to decide whether to renew, incentivizing re-subscribing.

It's clear that the new service is great for Amazon, as it allows them to de-duplicate their data and significantly reduces their bandwidth costs. It also may be a good thing for many customers who can get sanitized versions of their music files. As my original post mentioned, however, some users of the service saw the appeal of uploading and unlimited number of their personal music files (e.g., with meticulously edited album artwork, tags, and the exact compression they wanted). Without notice, Amazon is essentially replacing all these files for paid subscribers with different files, which sets a really bad precedent not just for music, but for cloud storage services in general. While I'm sure some users prefer the new functionality, others don't and it would have been better to allow users to opt in/out.

The other big story here is that at least some of the labels seem to have offered Amazon similar terms to Apple, showing that Apple's agreement for Match is not exclusive. In Netflix v. Amazon (video streaming) and Apple v. Amazon (music stores/matching), Big Content seems reluctant to let any one player dominate.

Regarding the press release: yes, it's official, it's linked from Amazon's more recognizable Amazon.com domain; for whatever reason, they post their press releases on a different domain.

Chik-Fil-A and Amazon (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40840691)

Jeff Bezos may be a supporter of intra-species knob slobbin', but Chik-Fil-A ain't swapping my chicken patty with a piece of rubber when I'm not looking.

And this is Why (2)

fast turtle (1118037) | about a year and a half ago | (#40841175)

I will not ever pay or use cloud services for anything important unless the files are encrypted on my end.

New cost structure. Some things are still free. (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | about a year and a half ago | (#40841399)

The following is from the press release:

Cloud Player is available in a Free tier and a Premium tier. Cloud Player Free customers can store all MP3 music purchased at Amazon, plus import up to 250 songs from their PC or Mac to Cloud Player, all at no charge. Cloud Player Premium customers can import and store up to 250,000 songs in Cloud Player for an annual fee of $24.99. Amazon-purchased MP3s (including all previous purchases) do not count against the 250 or 250,000-song limits and will be added to both Free and Premium Cloud Player libraries at no charge.

Amazon is Loosing Me (1)

tapspace (2368622) | about a year and a half ago | (#40841435)

DISCLAIMER: this is anecdotal evidence against Amazon. Just because they've pissed me off doesn't mean it's a general trend... yet.

I am really starting to dislike Amazon. Two major events:

Event 1: Amazon somehow auto-enrolled me in Amazon Prime. I know how to use computers and have bought and sold on Amazon for something like 9 years now. I am fairly sure I didn't accidentally enroll. This must be so common that if you cancel before you've used the service at all, you get a refund no questions asked. If this were an isolated incident of Amazon behaving badly, I might overlook it. But, I think it's something shadier, something decidedly more AOL-ish.

Event 2: The used "new" Kindle debacle. My girlfriend got a kindle for Christmas. It was sealed in Amazon's plain brown packaging (the kind that cannot be opened and reclosed without obviously having been opened). The kindle itself had a large gash down the e-ink screen. The factory screen cover packaging was extremely dirty. OK, so manufacturing glitch of some sort, these things happen, no biggie. Here's where it gets really bad. Amazon refused to merely replace the device at their cost. A) They made us return it for Amazon credit and buy a new one. Her mother had used a $15 coupon to buy the kindle. So, she had to spend an extra $15 to buy the kindle again... for Amazon's defective unit. We were promised by the CS that this would not happen before the fact. After the fact, they denied it (eventually we gave up). On top of that, we were living out of the country at the time, so she had to ship the kindle back to Amazon independently (if we were in the US, for example, Amazon would send a shipping label). We were told we'd be reimbursed for shipping. Guess how we were reimbursed? Amazon credit. Again, we made sure that this would not happen before the fact and were promised it wouldn't. After the fact, deny deny deny. So, fuck Amazon, fuck them in the eye. They have become seriously shady.

Re:Amazon is Loosing Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40841589)

. They have become seriously shady.

I'm afraid I have to disagree. They have ALWAYS been seriously shady. You're just happen to be getting burned by them later in the game.

I've had numerous sour dealings with Amazon. The bulk of Amazon users have a great experience with them; the customers get the lowest prices and so they love Amazon, but the producers and industry at large has been burned six ways from Sunday since the very beginning. Amazon is the digital Walmart, and the community as a whole is being devastated by their practices, many of which are very shady indeed.

It's not surprising at all that this kind of predatory thinking can and does slip over so that it affects their 'public face' as well. The Mask of Sanity, a term used to describe psychopathic behavior, slips now and again.

Re:Amazon is Loosing Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40841863)

Re: Event1
Why you bought a kindle fire you got Amazon Prime free for a month... then it will go away. It's a bit of an overreaction to quite Amazon because they gave you something free for a month. After a month of trying it out it will go away (you don't have to cancel and you won't be charged). Be skeptical of AOL and free magazine subscriptions... Amazon doesn't deserve as much suspicion.

The cloud is good for music (1)

theurge14 (820596) | about a year and a half ago | (#40841503)

Too often I see people using Youtube or Pandora to play music they already own just because they forgot to sync it to their phone.

Upgrade, eh? (1)

fa2k (881632) | about a year and a half ago | (#40841621)

I have been buying MP3s from Amazon for some time, I just ordered some CDs instead yesterday. Used CDs are cheaper than MP3 albums in many cases, including shipping, and they have better quality (assuming no defects, still to be determined) -- I'll just rip them to FLAC. So this is only an "upgrade" for people who pirated music or ripped there CDs as 128k or 192k. Anyone ripping CDs in the last 5 years would be stupid to encode in anything but FLAC, unless they only need it on an MP3 player with limited storage. ... So I'm not saying I can hear the difference between 256k and uncompressed -- I can't -- but there may be future applications where the extra inaudible information is useful (maybe a current application is experimenting with DJ'ing and mixing songs). Why Amazon aren't providing uncompressed songs confuses me. They could even do 48kHz, which is superior to CD, and also 24 bit (I don't think it's possible to hear anything more than 16 bit, but again, there may be uses for it)

Audio Upgrade (direct from Amazon Help) (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40841705)

original copies of your uploaded songs will be available as well, take a look below:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200593970#pastpurchase

Audio Upgrade

For some songs and albums you previously imported to Cloud Player, Amazon may have rights to upgrade your music to high-quality 256 Kbps audio. We'll automatically begin upgrading the audio quality for previously imported files when you log in to Cloud Player; this process will only happen once and may take a few minutes to complete.

A pop-up message will display progress, and you can close this message at any time. Once complete, we'll display the number of songs that have been upgraded.

Music that's been upgraded can be found in the "Upgraded Audio" playlist. The "Upgraded Audio" playlist will only be available if songs are upgraded. Original copies of these Upgraded Audio files will remain accessible in Cloud Drive. Your Cloud Drive "Music" folder is now called "Archived Music."

Imported Music Upgrades

Music you import into Cloud Player in the future will also be automatically upgraded to high-quality 256 Kbps if Amazon has the rights to do so. This upgraded music will only appear in the Imported playlist and will not appear in the "Upgraded Audio" playlist.

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